As the holidays approach and another year begins to come to a close and I find that I am still unwed, childless and without career and life goals that are easily understood or widely accepted, I am unfondly reminded of the three most common topics of conversation that every holiday gathering centers themselves upon….
- Getting married and or coupled
- Having kids and or the happenings of said kids
- Landing a job as another cog in the system for an acceptable amount of coin.
Only these three things or anything under the umbrella of these things are acceptable, like there’s nothing else to celebrate if one or all of these life events haven’t ‘happened’ for someone yet. Well, not this year. This year I want to shed light on the under-celebrated achievements of regular, everyday life. Big and small.
So here’s to the unmarried, single, ‘not sure I ever will,’ undecided, unable, ‘yes, I’m still working my part time gig to support my full-time dream,’ tired of being asked, ‘have you seen my life, how could I possibly even think of bringing another human being into this world?!’ — to all of you out there I want you to know that your accomplishments matter too. YOUR things are important too. Just because they aren’t praised around the dinner table amongst guests you don’t even see but once a year, doesn’t mean that you didn’t achieve something.
I find that family systems who solely focus on the accomplishments most associated with a patriarchal society-marriage, children, a well paying job-to be dangerous. They create distance and rejection. Family members who don’t comply are pushed out of the family circle and lots of opportunities for creativity, growth and love are lost. And what are we teaching our children by only celebrating certain lived achievements? That at some point our interest, belief and support in them will run out unless they play the game too by getting a well-paying job, getting married and having kids of their own.
After losing it following my Mom’s death, being diagnosed with a chronic illness, getting cheated on and falling deeper into alcohol addiction, I’ve slowly started to put the pieces back together again. My reparenting work has me most intently focused on my small accomplishments and redefining success the way I see it. This has opened my eyes to a new way of life. I can no longer subscribe to the belief that successes are solely based on what’s mainstream or comfortable and light-hearted to discuss.
When I look at life this way, I see that I have so damn much to celebrate this year…
- I managed my chronic reproductive illness through 9 months without a home and have had better periods than ever before in my life..
- I took the leap toward the lengthy process of starting my own Reparenting for Reproductive Health Coaching business…
- I packed up, cleaned out and sold Moms home, went through the painful process of deciding what of hers to keep and what to lovingly let go of…
- I am grieving her death and built my own support system to help me through the process
- I began healing generations of trauma passed down to me
- I came out to friends and family as an alcoholic and began receiving help for my addiction
- I found and began building a new home for myself
- I said ‘no’ a lot and felt super uncomfortable about it but I said it anyway….
It’s important to honor your accomplishments and take time out to savor them, especially if they aren’t honored in your family of origin or if you don’t currently have the support for the things you have accomplished. If that’s the case, I invite you to start a practice I’ve borrowed from a new teacher of mine, Kelsey Gustavson, Embodied Trauma Resolution Facilitator, where you write each new accomplishment, big or small, down on a piece of paper and keep them in a box or container of your choice to be read at a later date or whenever you need a reminder of just how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished in a year.
So no, I may not have gotten married and I did not have kids, thank GOD, but wow, I sure did grow and I accomplished a lot of stuff, big and small…if that’s not success-fuck it, I say it is!
✨Now you tell me, what awesome shit did you do this year?…